Nathan Bedford Forrest statue vandalized again

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- For the second time in a month someone vandalized the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue.

The monument is on the state's registry of historical landmarks and is also where General Forrest and his wife are buried.

Friday morning it was covered in red graffiti with a message promoting a lesser known mayoral candidate.


That was what was sprayed across the sides of the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue, supposedly referring to Leo Agowhat, a nonpartisan mayoral candidate.

However, he is pretty off the grid.

WREG could not even find contact information to ask him about the vandalism.

However, Memphis City Councilwoman Wanda Halbert said she worries less about the words and more about where they were sprayed.

"There is absolutely no reason to be disrespectful at this point," she said.

Memphians we spoke to said, regardless of your views on the Confederacy or the General, vandalism is never acceptable.

"It's just disrespectful to desecrate a grave,"Halbert said.

"Whether or not you agree for what it stands for or not, you should respect someone's grave," Memphian Jock Lillard added.

Although the Memphis City Council voted to remove the statue from the park, Halbert said she still wants to see it protected.

"The police and the parks, as well as code enforcement need to be monitoring the area to make sure those vandals aren't going to be coming back on a regular basis," she told WREG.

Memphis Police would not say whether they plan to increase security or add cameras because of the vandalism, but people WREG spoke with said they hoped they would take action.

"Something like vandalism isn't something I want to see," Kimberly Van of Memphis said. "So if they could do something about it... If cameras will stop it, I really hope they do install them."

The issue of whether the statue will be removed still has to go before the State Historic Committee.

The Council also voted to remove the remains of Forrest and his wife, but that cannot happen without permission from a Chancery Court judge.

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